We are delighted to announce that the South of England Agricultural Society 2019 Charity of the Year is Jamie’s Farm. Established in 2005 by then school teacher, Jamie Feilden, the charity enables disadvantaged young people to thrive through residential experiences on one of their three residential farms.
It was the idea of new 2019 Society President, Sir Richard Kleinwort, to support the fourth Jamie’s Farm, which is due to open in Lewes in Spring 2019. From a deep rooted Sussex farming family and having his own large dairy herd, Sir Richard is an advocate of agriculture and knows the benefits that working on the land can bring to an individual’s self-esteem.
“Jamie’s Farm is a remarkable organisation, which provides young people on the verge of school exclusion with a unique opportunity to realise what they are capable of,” Sir Richard explains. “The synergy between the goals of the South of England Agricultural Society and those of Jamie’s Farm is clear, and with their new venue opening in Sussex, the decision to support the charity was an easy one.”
The South of England Agricultural Society exists to provide agricultural education and promote countryside learning across the southern counties of Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Berkshire. Their support of Jamie’s Farm in 2019 will include raising awareness through their network of members and supporters, and providing the charity with an opportunity to fundraise at their various events held throughout the year, including the ever-popular South of England Show which takes place on 6,7, and 8 June 2019.
“When Sir Richard shared his thoughts on choosing Jamie’s Farm as our 2019 charity, we immediately saw the connection between their mission and ours – to promote and educate on matters pertaining to agriculture,” says the Society’s CEO, Iain Nicol. “And with the new Lewes site under construction – the first for Jamie’s Farm in the South – we are very keen to help them establish roots here and become better known in the region.”
Founder of the charity, Jamie Feilden, is also excited about the support from the Society.
“Each day, thirty-five children are excluded from school,” he says. “Our new farm in Lewes will give four hundred and fifty young people a year across the South the opportunity to see life from a different perspective. We are thrilled to be working with the South of England Agricultural Society to fulfill our goal of being the catalyst for change in these youngsters’ lives.”
Jamie’s Farm still needs to fundraise £350k to complete the renovations of the new Lewes farm. Information on contributing a donation can be found at jamiesfarm.org.uk.